Category Archives: Plymouth
One of the best railway journeys in the UK (well the bit when you are in Devon).
The railway line hugs the coast offering some stunning views of Devon, Exeter, the River Exe, Starcross, Teignmouth, Dawlish Warren, the River Plym and of course Plymouth.
I recorded this when I visited my parents recently as I have such fond memories of this wonderful journey.
If you are in the UK or ever visiting you should try to do this journey at least once.
I write this as I head back to Colchester following a weekend to see how my mum is doing following her surgery and as usual the time has gone by far too quickly.
Mum is looking remarkably bright considering she has had heart surgery and is out of bed. She is still sore and bruised following the operation though so I believe it will take a couple of weeks for her to get back to normal. Just hope she does spend the time convalescing and doesn't try to do too much too soon.
Typically the weather en route was nice but yesterday (my only full day), was pretty grim. That said I didn't go home to sight see.
Still I spent the day with my parents and Richards sister popped over with our niece, husband and Richards eldest nephew. This was a nice break in the day as mum has not see baby Freya since her christening. It was lovely to have a house full of guests. Some other people for mum to talk too and it helped animate the house and my parents.
We had a late fish and chip supper before turning in and I left early this morning to catch my train back to Colchester (via London).
I am pleased I have been to see mum and dad and am happy with my mums progress and how my dad is coping with everything.
I have this scenic journey (well the bit through Devon) to get through, a week of work and then Richard and I can head off to the sun for a much needed rest.
Please let this week be quiet and uneventful!
So it's certainly been an odd week. One I didn't see coming and one where I never imagined I would be writing a blog entry on the train heading down to Devon.
As you may know both Richard and my mum have been unwell and I am currently en route to see my mum post heart surgery.
I cannot remember the last time I took the train home and its kind of odd. I spent a lot of my late teens and early twenties taking the train to London to see the sights and to experience what the big city had to offer.
It was these trips that lead me to make the decision to leave the south west and find something bigger and better. I knew that Plymouth had had its hay day and knew that I would find what I was searching for in London.
I also knew (by the time I left) that I was gay and that the manner and opinions at home were not conducive to me living a happy independent life
That was thirteen years ago and I have not looked back.
I of course miss my parents but being an only child do not feel committed to the large extended family we have. I made the choice to move away, find my self, enjoy my life but ensure that mum and dad were always cared for. That's what I have done and I am proud and surprised at what I have achieved since I left Plymouth all that time ago.
I cannot condone people for wanting to stay where they grew up but I have to say it saddens me when so many people I went to school or worked with are still there. Same locations. Same lives.
Don't get me wrong many others have gone much further than I and some are tied due to commitments etc but I find it a shame that people stay put. I guess it's comfortable. I guess now I am comfortable too.
I am sure there are other places like Plymouth (or maybe Devon or Cornwall) where you could be born and raised and think you were living a million miles from anywhere.
That mentality still exists and I have taken years to break this mindset that everything is miles away from where I live. I commute 70 miles each way every day and to most people at home, they wouldn't travel that far to go to an airport on holiday.
Family and friends constantly insist we live in London. We don't. It's where we work, where we tune our careers and where we socialise. We live in Colchester and we love it there. It's taken us further away from Plymouth and that's why I have a six hour journey under way but you know what, if you want to do it you make the time. You make the effort. You get off your ass and you do it.
It may sound like I am knocking people – I am not. I made a choice and I am glad I did. I just find it sad some people never even get to that initial decision. Or maybe they regret not doing it later in life…
I fear for the generation growing up at home, there's no airport, no major road links and the local economy is declining faster than anywhere else. All government support (as always) heads up north (no it doesn't make it to London event though it feels like it) and the south west is left to suffer.
But then again the NIMBIES in the area need to stop complaining and be more proactive. If the people of Plymouth saw the value in a motorway, their airport or investing in big business and trade, the place wouldn't be in such a state as it is now.
I often spend these train journeys thinking about things. Mulling things over and I find it incredible that I can now pen these thoughts and store them for myself and anyone who cares to read them. Technology has opened these barriers. Could I have ever imagined such a device as an iPad or iPhone to allow me to do this when I first embarked on my journeys to the big smoke?
I was blogging back then but had to wait to get home to put finger to key…
This is purely my opinion but I love going home. I love this journey and I love my folks. I also love the fact that I made the decision years ago to move away and get a life. I simply hope all the grand children, nieces, nephews and friends kids at home wake up and do the same (before its too late).
I obviously love my husband and miss B and will miss them terribly whilst I am away. I am only gone for two days though and soon Richard and I jet off to the sun for some much needed r and r.
Oh… The duffle coat reference? That's Paddingtons fault. I loved Paddington Bear as a child but could never have imagined how many memories and feelings that little lost bear from Peru would evoke.
I wonder if he has reverted back to marmalade sandwiches following his brief dabbling with marmite?
Following our week in Cyprus we went home to visit our folks for a couple of days.
The weather wasn't as nice as Cyprus and the pace a little busier but it was lovely to catch up with everyone.
We took my parents out to lunch on Thursday as it was their wedding anniversary. Richard's mum, youngest sister and our niece joined us. We visited the Royal William Yard which is a recent renovation. This gave a fantastic new perspective on Plymouth that none of us had seen before.
It really was lovely to see everyone and we managed to catch up with the family as planned.
Whilst there we made a substantial purchase at the art gallery at the Royal William Yard. We are both very pleased with the piece featuring Smeatons Tower on Plymouth Hoe. We wanted a sizeable painting for the wall and this does not disappoint. We had to fold the seats down in the back of the car to get it in!